Fight! The five biggest A-League brawls

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With so much passion in the A-League, it’s not surprising that things sometimes get out of control.

Read below for the top five biffs we’ve seen.

5. Ninkovic v Troisi

Finals are always fuelled by added pressure and adrenaline, and the 2017 Grand Final between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory was no exception. A careless Victory tackle from Leigh Broxham on Sky Blues striker Milos Ninkovic sparked the beginning of frenzied shirt-pulling and fiery arguments between the two sides.

Ninkovic went up to Carl Valeri to express his frustration, the ensuing commotion resulted in yellow cards to James Troisi and Ninkovic. The Big Blue ended in a penalty shootout with Sydney FC coming out on top.

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4. Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory

The derby’s feud started with Victory’s Besart Berisha and James Donachie blocking keeper Dean Bouzanis from throwing the ball out in the 56th minute. Bouzanis tried to barge through the Victory players, and from there on a passionate battle between the Melbourne sides took over the rest of the game.

A number of fouls were committed, with Jason Geria sending a City player flying, James Troisi sliding on Bruce Kamau, with Tim Cahill and Besart Berisha not wanting to miss a piece of the action. Referee Jarred Gillett had to keep his eyes on a number of individual contests as push and shove continued until the final whistle.

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3. Jurman v Reddy

A list of A-League brawls wouldn’t be complete without a Sydney derby mention. It was during the 2015/16 season when Wanderers goalkeeper Liam Reddy and Sky Blues defender Matt Jurman almost started an all-in brawl at Allianz Stadium.

Sydney FC were awarded a corner when Jurman tried to get the ball from the hands of the debuting keeper. In response, Reddy threw the ball at Jurman’s face, causing the defender to grab his shirt, which led to a heated verbal exchange.

Soon after, red and blue shirts swarmed the net. Everyone got involved, and a free-for-all exploded inside the Wanderers’ goal. Both Reddy and Jurman got away with a yellow card for the incident, with a 1-1 draw being the end result.

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2. Muscat vs Kosmina

Conflict between Adelaide United coach John Kosmina and Melbourne Victory captain Kevin Muscat led to a four week ban for the Adelaide manager.

It was the 87th minute of the 2006 match when the ball rolled out of play directly to the feet of Kosmina.

As he attempted to pick it up, Victory captain Muscat knocked the manager from his plastic Bunnings chair. Kosmina stood up and grabbed Muscat by the throat, and was sent off immediately. Muscat was yellow carded for his involvement.

 1. Berisha v Bosschaart

And number one: Brisbane Roar’s Besart Berisha and Sydney FC’s Pascal Bosschaart during the 2011/12 season. Brisbane were losing 1-0 with only two minutes to go. A free-kick from outside the box in the 94th minute made Brisbane square, and a Berisha header in the 95th minute put them in front 2-1 to win the game.

As soon as the whistle blew, Berisha grabbed Bosschaart’s arm, telling him to meet outside to fight one-on-one. A shirtless Berisha was held back by managers and officials as he attempted to free himself and fight Bosschaart. Players from both sides ran towards the tunnel, but eventually the situation was diffused. (Skip to 4:50 for a recap)

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Lani Johnson
Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.

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